Rebel Reid (she/her) is a proud gender-fluid Guitarist/Producer/Musician from the Band Valkyrie, born in Auckland New Zealand.
Rebel says her music has transported her to a world she had only ever dreamed of, performing to thousands, inspiring others and being the “Rockstar Young Rebel” she’d always wanted to be.
We were lucky to have Rebel Reid in the CLIQUE studio this pride month to showcase our Limited Edition ‘Sweat(er) With Pride’. We later sat down with Rebel to learn more about her journey as part of the LGBTQI+ community and how music has helped her to express herself.
A rebel by name and identity, how important is it for you to be fluid in both your personal expression and music?
For me it’s just as important as breathing. Carrying the fluidity in what I do, what I wear, and how I express myself allows me to use my platform to show how fluidity looks in 2021. It’s important in terms of having a different kind of voice, angle and creative outlet to show what fluidity looks like artistically and for me personally.
Have you always known music was a career you wanted to pursue? What about it speaks to you and how has music helped you to express yourself and become the person you are today?
Yes I have always known music is my destiny, since I was a child, I think it all stemmed from my mum’s taste in rock music – I was always more attracted to my mum’s music than what was trending on the radio. As a child I really resonated with this music, it made me feel free and understood when I listened to it. It really kept me captivated in the lyrics and stories told through them. I am named Rebel after songs by both Billy Idol and David Bowie, and my middle name is Tennille after my mum’s favourite band Captain Tennille, so music is the very foundation of who I am. The way music speaks to me is on a spiritual and cellular level, it’s my form of transportation so music speaks to me in a way like magic and time travel all in one. Music has helped me and guided me through breaking the barrier of the social norm and expectations. Music has allowed me to become Rebel, the most authentic me possible.
What does it mean to you to have four others, Omer, Shae, Jesse and Josh, be a part of the music making process; from creating, inspiring, and sharing moments with each other and your fans?
It’s like having this constant support system, a family of people who accept everything you are and aspire to be without question. Omer especially is amazing, having this person who you can dream within a space where anything is possible. I found it inspiring to work with Bex and Carena and saw the similarities in Omer and I, how we create this vision and then have our team to help us see it through. Seeing a song spark from a single idea and watching the process of it coming to life is pure magic, sharing it with my band (family) is even more amazing. They are my family, there is never an “I can’t”, nothing is too big, our ideas are sometimes huge and crazy but we all make it work which is really special.
What did you enjoy most about collaborating with CLIQUE on the Sweat with Pride campaign?
I think what I enjoyed the most was this genuine love for what they do. This is something totally out of my comfort zone but the empowerment I felt took this all away. The environment CLIQUE created was so natural and easy, I saw the intention and it spoke to me in a way that allowed me to be my most authentic self. It was the genuine effort that stole my heart, the girls at CLIQUE took it upon themselves to use their platform to help and connect more closely with the rainbow community within their CLIQUE community, it’s so much more than being “progressive”, they care so much more than that.
Being a proud gender-fluid person, what is one piece of advice that you would give to others in the LGBTQI+ community who may be struggling with their identity?
Well, because it is hard to be gay first of all, not everyone has a cool mum like me and a great support system to empower your journey. But little Rebel would have loved to hear that if you are your truest self and trust who you really are, you are going to universally attract all of the support you need. Just stay confident in who you are, especially when you feel your best – and if you do this, the universe will naturally attract what you need and more importantly who you need as a person, you’ll find your people.
All profits from the sale of this Limited Edition Sweater will be donated to projects that provide essential physical, mental and sexual health services for Rainbow New Zealanders.